Tatsuki, Masa-aki
Doshisha University
Kyoto Japan

Professor Masa-aki Tatsuki
13-9 Sanjo-Cho
Ashiya City
Hyogo Pref. 659

mtatsuki@mai1. doshisha. ac . jp

Strand: lexicogrammar other

Title: On the Treatment of 'Finiteness': A Contrastive study of English and Japanese

In IFG, the Finite element is described as having the function of bringing the proposition down to earth, so that it is something that can be argued about (Halliday 1994:75). More specifically, if a clause element is to be regarded as Finite, it must have either tense or modality (of the 'validity assessment' type). Thus, in English 'Finiteness' is naturally realized in either the Operator or as a suffix on the Main Verb. However, if we consider the realization of the equivalent Japanese meanings, we find that Japanese displays interestingly different phenomena. That is, elements expressing either tense or modality appear not only as morphemes in what might be regarded as the verbal group, but also in other elements, including elements of adjectival groups or as the final particle ka, as a question marker. Moreover, several elements signifying the modality in a verbal group may contribute to quite a complicated clause structure in Japanese, this complexity being due in part to the characteristic agglutination of Japanese.

Accordingly this paper will discuss a new treatment of 'Finiteness' by describing Japanese elements which carry the function of making the proposition finite, and it will clarify the characteristics of Japanese clause structure from the viewpoint of a lexico-semantico grammar.


Fawcett, Robin, Gordon Tucker, Yen Lin(1993) "How a systemic functional grammar works: the role of realization." In Horacet, H., and Zock,M.,(eds.)Planning and Realization in Natural Language Generation. London: Pinter.

Halliday, M.A.K (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar . London: Edward Arnold Tatsuki, M. and Robin Fawcett (1993) "Morphemes as Elements of Clause Structure "Paper presented at the 20th ISFC. Victoria, Canada.

Tatsuki, M.(1994) "On the Semantic Rank Scale of the Clauses: A Contrastive Study of Japanese and English" Paper presented at the 21st ISFC, Gent, Belgium.

Tatsuki, M. (1996) "The Grammar of Interpersonal Meaning; Mood and Modality, The concept of 'Viewpoint of Situation' in Japanese". Paper presented at the 23rd ISFC, Sydney, Australia.